recording of The Colonel's Dream by Charles Waddell Chesnutt.
Read in English by James K. White
In this novel, Chesnutt described the hopelessness of Reconstruction in a post-Civil War South that was bent on reestablishing the former status quo and rebuilding itself as a region of the United States where new forms of "slavery" would replace the old. This novel illustrated how race hatred and the impotence of a reluctant Federal Government trumped the rule of law, ultimately setting the stage for the rise of institutions such as Jim Crow, lynching, chain gangs and work farms--all established with the intent of disenfranchising African Americans. - Summary by James K. White
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February 10, 2015
Another great novel by one of the finest black American writers rescued from undeservedly obscurity by reader/performer James White.
The story of how peonage survived into the late 19th century via the era's obscene vagrancy laws is sobering, shocking. Mercifully, this social novel doesn't preach and has complex actors -- not all black characters are paragons and many white ones have good intentions but are ineffective. Good doesn't always triumph and even true love sometimes fails to win out. Hmm. Sounds like real life.
I understand that Chestnutt's publisher was less than thrilled with the book, which didn't sell so well. Which only goes to show ...er, something or other.
As usual, James White's reading is a real pleasure. Thank you!
TheBookworm, Manchester, UK.
August 22, 2014
This novel struck me as the most complex of the Chesnutt novels that I have read thus far. It is also absolutely devastation. Considering the times it details, it would have been impossible to be otherwise.
As always, James White's reading is superb.